AMINA MUSHTAQ - Terrorism is actually defined as the use of violence to achieve a political goal. Terrorism is a criminal act that influences an audience beyond the immediate victim. The major aspect of terrorists is to consign acts of violence that draws the concentration of the local populace, the government, and the world to their cause. Terrorists plan their attack to obtain publicity, choosing targets that symbolise what they oppose. The effectiveness of a terrorist act lies not in the act itself, but in the public’s or government’s feedback to the act.
Terrorism is not new, and even though it has been used since the dawn of history it can be relatively hard to define. Terrorism has been described variously as both a tactic and strategy; a crime and a holy duty; a justified reaction to oppression and an inexcusable abomination. Obviously, a lot depends on whose point of view is being represented.
Terrorism has often been an effective tactic for the weaker side in a conflict. As an asymmetric form of conflict, it confers coercive power with many of the advantages of military force at a fraction of the cost. Due to mysterious temperament and small size of terrorist organisations, they often offer opponents no clear organisation to defend against or to prevent.
Now, when you have a political party, which adopts a way of striking terror either by kidnapping, sexual assault, bombing, striking or any form in order to intimidate the government to succumb to their demands, they are terrorists.
Today terrorism is the most critical issue facing all over the world. A new typology of terrorist organisations is offered that introduces the concept of the Dune organisation. The proposed typology goes beyond the reach of the hierarchical and network approaches. It provides an effective tool for the conceptualisation and analysis of Al Qaeda and the organisational changes it has experienced since its establishment in 1989.
This article argues that Al Qaeda started out as a hierarchical organisation, transformed into a network system, and after the 2001 attack in Afghanistan dispersed into a Dune organisation. One of the most significant threats that have been posed during the wake of the twenty first century, on the state as well as the existing world order, is Al Qaeda’s activities.
These activities are based on an ambitious agenda, radical ideology and operational sophistication. Despite the destruction of Al Qaeda’s camps and facilities in Afghanistan in 2001, the killing or capturing of many of the group’s leaders and other members, the destruction of numerous financial channels, and other actions carried out by intelligence services.
Al Qaeda remains one of the most significant threats to the Western world in general and to US national security in particular.
Al Qaeda’s fundamental aim is to hurt America, Russia, and Israel so as to free the Islamic world from western domination. According to Al Qaeda’s global jihad perception, the United States provides assistance to Christians in Muslim-Christian disputes, supports Israel and challenges anti-American Arab regimes. Therefore, Al Qaeda needs to fight the United States through acts of global terrorism.
Islam, the religion of peace:
"But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace" (The Quran 8:61)
The "root" of the word "Islam" in Arabic is SALAMA which is the origin of the words Peace & a submission to God and peace to all humanity. It is, thus, no wonder why the salutation in Islam is: "Al-Salamu Alaikum or Peace on You."
Muslim means one who submits. For many non-Muslims, the word Muslim is synonymous with angry mobs and suicidal bombers. Such stereotyping of Muslims is patently wrong. Most Muslims are ordinary, peace-loving people with their own set of dreams and problems and should be treated with the same respect we give to any other fellow human being. Islam denounces Terrorism and shows the path to establishing Justice & Peace:- Invoke your Lord with humility and in secret. He likes not the aggressors. And do not do mischief on the earth, after it has been set in order, And Invoke Him with fear and hope; Surely, Allah's mercy is (ever) near unto the good-doers. (The Qurán 7:55)
In recent times, 'violence' & 'terrorism' has unfortunately come to be associated with Islam and Muslims. The Messenger of Islam is Mercy to the worlds. And the slogan of Islam, repeated in every utterance and action is:
"In The Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful."
The behaviour between the believers is one of patience and mercy,
‘Then he became one of those who believed and recommended one another to perseverance and patience, and (also) recommended one another to piety and compassion.’
(Surat-al-Balad (90), ayah 17)
Islam wants to establish a world order where all human beings Muslims and non Muslims can live with justice in peace, harmony and good will. It gives its followers full guidelines to find peace in their personal and social lives, but it also tells them how to extend the good will on the basis of human relations towards others. Muslims worked under these ideologies for centuries. People of many faiths lived with them and among them. Islamic societies were known for their tolerance, liberality and humanity.
As religious people we should not tell the truth each other. We must wish for others what we wish for ourselves. We should argue discussion and collaboration rather than prejudices and confrontations.
We should learn to live with our differences and we should also agree to disagree sometimes.
As religious people it is our responsibility to live in peace with others. Instead of talking about the clash of civilization, let us talk about building bridges between the civilizations. Let us preserve and develop peace, justice and tolerance in our families, in our neighborhoods, in the places of work, among the people we know and we do not know.
n The writer is a freelance journalist